Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 22 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ndoc Suma
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Non-verbal kids can now communicate with this app

Tippy Talk App

TippyTalk | Facebook | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 01/23/18

A dad's invention is improving his relationship with his daughter every day.

According to Autism Speaks, 1 in 68 children in the U.S. have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and, of those, as many as 25 percent of them are non-verbal, meaning that they cannot sufficiently communicate themselves with their voice. Sadie Laffan is one of those children, and, though she used to grow frustrated when she couldn’t communicate with her parents, her dad has invented a special app for her that has changed everything.

Rob Laffan, who is a student at the Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland, was inspired to create a more efficient and improved version of a picture exchange communication system (PECS). Many nonverbal people use a PECS, which allows them to point to pictures to communicate their needs; however, the pictures in these books are often easily damaged and the nonverbal person must be in the immediate presence of the person with whom they need to communicate in order for it to be effective.

That’s why Rob invented TippyTalk, an app that allows his daughter to select pictures and translates them into text messages.

His invention doesn’t just solve practical problems, though. Rob says, “Being able to understand my girl’s exact desires, needs, and feelings has brought me closer to really understanding and loving her little personality.”

His creativity has helped improve his relationship with his daughter and blesses many others with nonverbal family members. You can see how the app works in the video above.


HIDDEN WINGS,AUTISM

Read more:
Here’s how to help teens with autism overcome their biggest obstacle after high school

Tags:
AutismDisabilitiesFamilyFatherhood
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
4
HEART OF JESUS
Bret Thoman, OFS
“Jesus, you take care of it”: Prayer of a priest Padr...
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.